What do I like more than theatre? Talking to the real committed visionaries that make theatre happen! One such a talk-treat is always having a chat with Alan Committie and hearing how he sees the world of theatre. As his new show Love Factually has taken Cape Town my laughing-storm, I made my way to Theatre on the Bay to go get my next #KingOfComedy theatre talk fix… with a good dose of comic book geeking-out on the side! FYI if you ever want to charm Alan Committie, brush up on your DC Comic Book facts … so don't say you never get hot tips from me ;)
Getting back to the all things theatre, once you start talking to Alan you become aware of the great deal of commitment and dedication it took for him to establish himself as the comedy phenomenon that he now is in his own right. He truly did make his passion his career:
“I was one of those kids that knew from early on what I wanted to do. In standard 5, I was about twelve or thirteen, I spoke to my parents and I kind of said ‘well, I want to study acting’. I think it was a great disappointment to them, but they were equally good actors and they hid that from me, and they went ‘well, ok but what would you do potentially as a back-up?’ In that lounge I went ‘I have good teachers, I’ll go teach’.”
So that was the plan and Alan stuck to it! His 6 years of teaching part-time did not just allow him to form a foundation in understanding what he does, “because nothing teaches you what it is you do until you have to teach it to someone else”, but it built an audience for him with the support of the kids and the parents in the community where he was teaching. That was the beginning of the Alan Committie brand, which led to his first one man show at the Artscape Arena based on Richard III, and “was all kind of serendipitous if I look at it now”.
If one truly reflects on the journey that Alan took to make his stage dream a reality, he actually studied people, and in so doing became our on-stage teacher of trend and observer of human patterns. So it is only fitting that he is the people specialist that helps us level-up from the Caveman basics to a new fresh, modern perspective of the battle of the sexes for the digital generation with Love Factually.
“I’ve done 8 years of Caveman, which was written in 1990. We are 26 years later. In 30 years, three decades later, you would expect some attitudes to have changed. This show is my attempt not necessarily to deal with exactly the same issues, because I think we have covered a lot of those in Caveman and those are still truths that can be held, but it is just to look at dating and relationships in 2016. Looking at some of the constraints and parameters, pressures, all through a comedic lens. So in some ways this show is a lot more personal than may stand-up shows.”
But then you may wonder, if Love Factually is not like Alan’s normal stand-up type shows, and it is not Caveman, what type of a theatre creature are we dealing with here?
“It uses some of the same characters, ideas, structures, but equally it is a lot more of a story, a bit more narrative. It is still Alan, but it is somewhere between Alan and the way I played Caveman, there is a persona there that I am playing. I use a lot of stuff, some of it embellished, some of it tweaked, some of it crossed between my own personal experiences and general exaggerated relationship type stories… all tweaked to fit.”
After seeing this merged vision of reality meets exaggerated fiction of a ‘Caveman’ type confused man in the tinder-age, I can definitely advise you to buy your tickets soonest (if you did not so so yesterday already) to gift yourself with some amazing laugh therapy like only Alan can dish up.
Whether you are in a relationship, just (escaping) out of one, taking a break from dating altogether, currently testing the online dating scene, or just in a ‘it’s complicated’ situation, this show has something for everyone. It is hilarious in its relatability, with that unique magical very Alan Committie twist! So go meet the Love Factually Alan-type character on stage, in a cinema, where you find him confused and baffled after a fight with his girlfriend, and let him share his (mis)understandings of the battle of the sexes.
Under the brilliant direction of Christopher Weare, Alan again brings a well-researched, sleek, smart show, packed with wit, laughter and all-round non-stop entertainment. Another winner for sure, and this one will sell out. Grab your tickets at Computicket and head on over to Theatre on the Bay before run ends 14 May 2016. But just in case you by some weird twist of fate still require some convincing, here is a personal invite from Alan, just for you!